What Is Quality Assurance?

Quality Assurance improves manufacturers' ability to identify product flaws, cut costs, boost efficiencies, and pursue continual improvement. This means happier customers and stakeholders.

Quality Assurance improves production efficiency and helps ensure that the final products meet the manufacturers’ quality standards.

Manufacturing businesses use quality assurance as a way to manage product quality.

Quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC) are often tied together to ensure customers receive products without flaws. Quality assurance is important for all manufacturers, especially for those in the automotive industry and businesses that supply high-precision parts.

High quality is a priority for these manufacturers to maintain safe environments. Some parts of quality assurance follow the ISO 9000 standards. The ISO (International Organization for Standardization) encourages the implementation of QA practices and processes.

How Does It Differ From Quality Control?

Although quality assurance and quality control activities are similar, it is important to spotlight the differences. Most QA activities include the entire quality system, while QC is only a spoke in the larger QA wheel. Picture three circles overlapping. The bigger circle is the quality system; the slightly smaller one is QA, while the smallest is QC.

  • Quality Assurance instills confidence in management and customers, government agencies, and others, that a business will meet all quality requirements.
  • Quality Control is the part of quality management focus on meeting the necessary requirements. Quality Control concentrates on inspection. Quality assurance is how a manufacturer performs processes and designs products.
  • Manufacturers Perspectives: For service providers, the idea of quality control may be foreign because they don’t have a tangible product. Their quality assurance focus may only include control of the products they use to provide a service.

Examples of products could be reports, contracts, or designs.

manufacturing quality assurance software

What are the Risks of Poor Quality Assurance?

manufacturing quality control apps

The risk of poor quality assurance leads to defects, inadequate manufacturing processes, and practices leading to increased costs. Product recalls also negatively impacts rework processes, damage reputations, and may sway customer loyalty.

Poor quality assurance in invoicing and logistics often results in shipping the wrong product, increased chargebacks, and even lost sales. Poor quality in product development may cause canceled orders, chargebacks, and other added costs. According to the American Society for Quality guide, the risk of poor quality may affect over 20% of sales.

A world-renowned electronics company had to recall a line of phone products because of overheating batteries. 2.5 million devices were recalled, costing the company $5.3 billion. A global automobile manufacturer recalled 3.37 million cars because of faulty fuel tanks and airbags. In today’s quality centered world, a slight difference in quality can cause customers to take their business elsewhere.

What are the Advantages/Benefits of Quality Assurance Software?

Quality assurance tools enables manufacturers to analyze quality data during production processes. Functions such as defect management, task management, and checklists identify ways to improve production earlier on in the process.

Paper error-prone processes are outdated, thanks to quality assurance software. QA solutions provide a central platform that ensures inspection data is available in real-time. Together with third-party systems, it allows a rapid exchange of information. Networked business processes enable product quality to be traced throughout.

Quality assurance software optimizes processes throughout the shop floor, vastly improving operations efficiency. The software increases visibility into granular processes and supports teamwork between product areas. QA software also enables organizations to identify the potential for process improvement.

Quality Software for Manufacturing

Data transparency on product characteristics, manufacturing parameters, and field data enable companies to meet customer requirements consistently. QA software supports manufacturers in the continual improvement of processes and identifies causes of errors earlier.

Manufacturers use QA software to enable improvement across the entire value chain. Quality assurance software also helps measure company performance.

What Does Quality Assurance Software Monitor?

manufacturing quality control software

Quality assurance software helps teams to monitor systems and subsystems in the production cycle and identify errors and defects. This means finished products are of the highest quality, safe, and effective. QA solutions monitor objectives at every juncture of the supply chain, from initial evaluation and final product to distribution.

QA solutions monitor critical real-time data from manufacturing plants, distribution centers, and at every supply chain phase. Manufacturers can use this data to improve products and deliver better customer service.

QA software monitors various workflows, including inventory, resources such as raw materials, and distribution. Research shows that digital solutions enable better decision making.

Research shows that access to accurate, real-time data about daily activities helps companies make faster decisions. This reduces operating costs by 23% and administrative costs by 22%.

Who Uses Quality Assurance Software?

Which Other Industries Use QA Software?

While quality assurance is essential to manufacturing environments, other industries find it useful such as software engineering and construction. Let's take a closer look and see how quality assurance is used elsewhere.

Quality assurance tests and monitors products and services before they go live. In software engineering, this is called. Software testing ensures that manufacturing or development teams do not break one thing when they fix another. Developers also perform functional QA testing to check whether the small parts in the software meet requirements.

Gemba Walk

Quality management software can dramatically improve quality throughout the product lifecycle.

Quality Assurance Software Products in Construction

Construction teams depend on quality assurance to ensure infrastructure, buildings, homes, or other projects are top quality and safe. Construction and project management professionals track the quality of work routinely and report back daily.

Software Quality Assurance (SQA)

Quality Assurance improves production efficiency and helps ensure that the final products meet the manufacturers’ quality standards. Manufacturing businesses use quality assurance as a way to manage product quality. Quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC) are often tied together to ensure customers receive products without flaws. Quality assurance is important for all manufacturers, especially for those in the automotive industry and businesses that supply high-precision parts. High quality is a priority for these manufacturers to maintain safe environments. Some parts of quality assurance follow the ISO 9000 standards. The ISO (International Organization for Standardization) encourages the implementation of QA practices and processes.

Using Apps for Quality Assurance Inspections

manufacturing gemba app new

Low-code applications allow workers to create solutions to problems as they arise. Who better to build apps than employees who encounter daily challenges on the shop floor? Here are some solutions to overcome routine manufacturing obstacles.

  • How To Identify Every Non-Conformance? Some product flaws are more visible than others. Another issue is human fatigue, as fatigue leads to more mistakes. Fortunately, there is a solution.

Visual inspection apps provide an extra set of eyes to reduce operator error. Visual instructions draw workers' attention to common product problems. IoT cameras detect subtle defects unseen by the human eye.

Airstream’s app allows quality auditors to list defects and to list attributes that reflect routine product flaws.

Mobile forms capture all data instead of hand-written reports that need collating, sampling, and exchanging. Capturing digital information allows the fluid transfer of critical documents.


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What Features Should QA Software Include?

Digitizing documentation is an essential feature of a QA solution. It only takes a few clicks of a mouse to build Quality Control checklists. It is just as quick to update, search for, and archive inspection reports and defect cards.

Workers on the shop floor can enter inspection data into digital checklists rather than manually into Excel. QA Software ensures information is available at a touch of a button. Adding a role management feature controls a user's ability to view or edit documentation.

Dashboards at Each Workstation

Progress dashboards reflect the progress of individual assemblies while providing a complete picture of the product the team is producing.

Manufacturing companies use digital QA solutions to ascertain the quality of each step of the production process. These gates ensure each stage in production is high quality before moving on to the next.

Quality assurance software allows shop floor employees to access current documentation digitally from whether they are.

Every employee in whatever department can access production records, revisions, checklists, and assembly drawings. Successful use of the software has enabled lean manufacturing with optimal productivity and minimal waste.

Here are a few examples of the quality management apps working on smartphones:

Quality Management Software Gemba App
Quality Management Software Gemba Interview
QMS Inspection App
Quality Control 5S Audit App
Quality Management Software Non-Conformance Report App
NCR App QMS
Inspector Signature QMS Software
5S Audit App Quality Safety Software

Increasing Product Quality Consistency and Manufacturer Efficiency

Quality Assurance software ensures that manufacturers can effectively identify root causes of product flaws. That means meeting stakeholders' and customers’ expectations consistently.

Solutions like Alpha TransForm enable shop floor workers to build solutions that resolve daily issues and eliminate laborious paperwork. Ultimately, this creates improved efficiency and better ROI at a reduced cost.